planning your baseball travels, consider following the footsteps of a baseball legend. Their careers provide a wide diversity
of interesting cities, classic ballparks and historic sites. We lead off our series with two Hall-of-Fame pitching greats:
Satchel Paige (below) and Bob Feller (next
In 2006, there was a definite historic appropriateness in the overlap
of the Jerry Malloy/SABR Negro Leagues Committee conference and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Fan Fest. The
Malloy Conference, in Kansas City, and the Fan Fest, in Pittsburgh took place in two of the cities most connected with Hall-of-Famer
Paige. Paige pitched for the Kansas
City Monarchs in 1935 and 1940-1947, lived in Kansas City and died there in 1982.
The 2006 Malloy Conference celebrated
the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1906. Paige had some of his greatest pitching success with the Pittsburgh Crawfords in the 1930s.
Visit these places from the life and
career of Satchel Paige:
Mobile, Ala.: Paige was born there July 7, 1906.
Ala.: Paige pitched for the Birmingham
Black Barons 1927 to 1930. You can still visit the home of the Black Barons, Rickwood Field, a true baseball shrine, and take a self-guided walking tour of the park.
Gus Greenlee brought Paige to
Pittsburgh. Satchel pitched for the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1931 to 1936. The site of Greenlee Field, 2400 Bedford Avenue
in Pittsburgh, will be recognized with a Pennsylvania state historical marker on Friday, August 11 as part of the Pittsburgh
Pirates’ Heritage Weekend festivities.
Cleveland: Paige made his major league debut with the
Cleveland Indians in 1948. At Cleveland
Stadium, Paige became the first African-American pitcher to appear in a World Series game in 1948. Cleveland Browns Stadium
now occupies the site where Cleveland Municipal Stadium once stood. Paige returned to Cleveland in 1965 to be inducted into
the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
Chicago: Comiskey Park was packed with 51,013 fans to see Paige pitch for the Indians against the White Sox
on August 13, 1948. Paige pitched his first major league shutout and blanked the Sox 5-0. Paige also made numerous appearances
here in the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star games. The site of old Comiskey Park is now a parking lot for the current
home of the White Sox.
Miami: Bill Veeck hired Paige for the Indians and later brought him to Miami
to pitch for the Miami Marlins. On August 7, 1956, Paige pitched in the Orange Bowl before a crowd in excess of 50,000. (According to Don’t Look Back the crowd
was 51,713 and short of the minor league record of 56,391 set in 1941. According to The Baseball Chronology and The
Baseball Timeline the attendance that night was a record-setting 57,000).
Kansas City: At Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Paige
made history by taking the mound at age 59 on September 25, 1965. Paige pitched three shutout innings for the Athletics against
the Red Sox before 9,000 fans. The Municipal Stadium site, now vacant, is a half-mile southeast of downtown Kansas City at
the corner of 22nd Street and Brooklyn Avenue.
Atlanta: In late August of 1968, the Atlanta Braves
hired Paige as a coach. The hiring enabled Paige to qualify for the Major League Baseball pension plan. Back then, the Braves
played at Atlanta-Fulton
County Stadium. The parking lot for Turner
Field now occupies the site of the old stadium.
Cooperstown: In 1971, Paige became the first player
inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame specifically for his contributions to baseball in the Negro Leagues. He was
inducted at ceremonies in Cooperstown on August 9, 1971 on the steps of the National Baseball Library (now the National Baseball
Hall of Fame and Museum Library) The following day, the Society
for American Baseball Research was founded in Cooperstown at the National Baseball Library.
Don’t Look Back, Shades of Glory, The Baseball Chronology, Lost Ballparks and The